Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met Saturday in Tehran with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the final day of a two-day official visit to the Islamic Republic.
Rouhani said cooperation between Iran and Turkey will play a positive role in the settlement of regional issues, according to Iran’s official Press TV.
“Iran and Turkey have common objectives and interests and must strengthen the foundations for peace and stability in the region through [improving] bilateral cooperation and focusing on the fight against terrorism as a common enemy,” Rouhani said.
“We believe that regional problems should be settled by regional countries and nations and Iran-Turkey cooperation will undoubtedly play a constructive role in establishing sustainable peace in the region,” the Iranian president pointed out.
The Iranian president said Tehran and Ankara enjoy great potential to expand ties in different sectors including transportation, energy, trade, joint investment, tourism, science and technology and expressed the country’s readiness to bolster cooperation with Turkey.
Davutoglu arrived in Tehran at the head of a high-ranking political and economic delegation on Friday hoping to expand the trade between the two nations to $30 billion – triple the current amount.
He told Rouhani that Ankara is determined to open a “new chapter” in relations with Tehran, according to Press TV.
The Turkish prime minister also “expressed Turkey’s readiness to cooperation with the Islamic Republic in the campaign against terrorism,” the state news agency reported.
Since Iran is a generous sponsor of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist organization as well as the Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza and their Palestinian Islamic Jihad allies, the statement raises questions.
The international headquarters of Hamas are still located in Istanbul, as they have been for about a year or more. Nevertheless, Turkish officials did deport a top Hamas official who masterminded the abduction and murder of three Israeli yeshiva teens in 2014 — the attack that launched Operation Protective Edge that summer.
Over the past several weeks, Turkish officials have been deeply involved in talks with Israeli representatives to resolve differences and repair the broken ties between the two nations. At last report, two of the three demands of the Turkish government had been met by Israel, and the third was allegedly well on the way towards resolution, according to an announcement by Turkish government officials.
That was a week prior to Davutoglu’s meeting with Rouhani. How is Israel to interpret this latest move?
“It is extremely important for Turkey and Iran to develop some common perspectives in order to end our region’s fight among brothers, to stop the ethnic and sectarian conflicts,” the Turkish prime minister told reporters in Tehran.
Although the two nations are backing different sides in the Syrian civil war, it seems they may have developed a common antipathy for Russia.
The Kremlin has been adamant that Iran withdraw its forces from Syria – including its proxy, the Lebanon-based Hezbollah guerrilla terrorist fighters – who are backing President Bashar al-Assad. Russia has reportedly told Iran their interests are different in Syria.
A highly-placed source told Kuwait’s daily Al-Jarida newspaper that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is retracting the sale of the S-300 anti-missile system. The moves comes as punishment to Iran for violating its pledge not to hand over any of its sophisticated weaponry to terrorist groups.
Israel brought Moscow clear evidence that Iran gave Hezbollah SA-22 surface-to-air missiles. The intelligence was confirmed by reports by Russian fighter pilots who flew sorties over Syria and Lebanon and whose radar could detect SA-22 systems in areas under Hezbollah control.